iPhone App: Telekinesis – remote access your Mac through mini web apps on iPhone


Now this code creation really wow-ed me! I was searching to find out if LogMeIn worked on the iPhone. (It does, sort of, but impossible to mimic button clicks…yet. But that is another story.) So I found a really interesting application called telekinesis (hosted at Google code) that truly impressed me. It doesn’t profess to be a Remote Control application (like VNC, Remote Desktop, LogMeIn, etc.) but rather more of a master remote “controller” for extending your reach to your Mac.

Here are some high-level features (which I have tried most of):

  • Stream music and video from your computer
  • Screen captures and mouse click support
  • iTunes remote control
  • File browsing
  • Run AppleScripts remotely
  • iSight image capture
  • Spotlight search
  • Ability to add additional application support

The description doesn’t really do any justice though, you really have to try it out yourself. Here are the basic steps:

  1. Just download the application and run it. It essentially launches a mini-server on a predefined port.
  2. You then simply create a user name and password and then that is it!
  3. To access your “dashboard,” on your iPhone, you simply go to the IP address of your Macintosh using the following convention: https://<Your computer IP address here>:5010 . You have to be sure that your computer and your iPhone are sharing the same network (e.g., a wireless network) although there are ways (that I haven’t tried…yet) to connect over EDGE and through a domain.
  4. Once you go to that address, you will be prompted to enter the user name and password that you created earlier.

Voila! You now should see a iPhone-esque icon dashboard with the following items, all on top of a screenshot from your desktop background:

  • Applications
  • Camera
  • Documents
  • Files
  • Remote
  • Screen
  • Scripts
  • Spotlight
  • Terminal
  • …and any additional apps you installed (e.g., Uniremote)

Here is a screenshot of mine:


Here is a bit about each item:

  • Applications – Here you can view all of the items in your Mac’s application’s folder and launch them via your iPhone on your Mac
  • Camera – This is truly ingenious. When you click on this, a snapshot is taken from your iSight camera and shows in the browser. Refreshing the screen updates the shot
  • Documents – Browse everything that you see in your Mac’s Documents folder. You can click an “Open” button and the doc launches on your Mac
  • Files – Similar to the Documents functionality but with your entire hard drive.
  • Remote – a basic remote controller for iTunes and such. I recommend, however, installing Uniremote for much more amazing functionality
  • Screen – a very basic “remote desktop” application that works through browser refreshes (better for a wifi network) but it does support mouse clicks and drags
  • Scripts – the ability to remotely run any AppleScripts you have stored (have not tried)
  • Spotlight – a basic Spotlight search which has the ability to open (on your Mac) any of the docs in the search results.
  • Terminal – run command line directly on your Mac via an iPhone web interface…kinda scary
  • Uniremote – really a great app that deserves a different review but basically it is the Remote app on steroids. Definitely install it.

Telekinesis has a LOT of potential to be a very useful app. I can already see how it could be used for AppleTV or some kind of media center hookup with a remote that GOES THROUGH WALLS! No need for line of sight for infrared or anything. Also might be good for a business user to control presentations or something like that. Great for parties and controlling the musing coming from your iTunes connected hifi. Probably many other applications as well. I’m going to watch the development on this one carefully because I think it has a lot of promise.


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Michael Sheehan (“HighTechDad”) is an avid technologist, writer, journalist, content marketer, blogger, tech influencer, social media pundit, loving husband and father of 3 beautiful girls living in the San Francisco Bay Area. This site covers technology, consumer electronics, Parent Tech, SmartHomes, cloud computing, gadgets, software, hardware, parenting “hacks,” and other tips & tricks.

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